February 15, 2020

Autistic is Not a Slur (And Other Things Autistics Want You to Know)

If you are not autistic, you know nothing that autistics want and need you to know. This list is supposed to help you, nonautistic. Want more? Search #ActuallyAutistic on Twitter. 

  • Most autistics dislike what’s called Person First Language. They prefer Identity First Language and refer to themselves as autistic people, not as people with autism, people on the spectrum. Autistic is not a slur.


  • Please do not say someone is “afflicted” with, suffers from, is “impacted” by, "touched" by, or “impaired” by autism. Autism is neither a death sentence nor a disease.


  • Most autistics do not like Autism Speaks. They consider AS a hate group dedicated to eradicating autism, spreading myths, and allocating money to anyone but autistics.


  • Most autistics do not want a cure. They like themselves more than you could ever imagine. 


  • Someone is either autistic or not. You can’t be partially autistic, a little autistic, or somewhat autistic. 


  • Vaccines still do not cause autism. This has been proven multiple times by multiple studies. 


  • Labels that refer to functioning levels, like “high functioning”, are useless and misleading. They are used by non-autistic people to make themselves feel better or sound better.


  • Nonautistics make their life more difficult. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident. 


  • There is no “autistic look”. “But you don’t look autistic” is not a compliment. It is a borderline slur dismissive of autistic persons and all of their struggles.


  • Just because your best friend’s five-year-old nephew is autistic, doesn’t mean they will have anything in common with any other autistic person. If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one.


Have something to add? Please feel free to tweet to @JHolverstott

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